Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is Your Gym Green Enough?

At home, you would never leave the AC, Heat, Stereo, Lights, and TV on all day, but it happens at most workout facilities 24/7! That’s not very green!

We should all be more active outside, but when I worked at a big gym I got worried when people cancelled memberships using that reasoning. I usually heard from them a couple months later lamenting how they didn’t exercise nearly as much as planned.

There’s no doubt gyms use a lot of electricity and need to start looking at how they can become more energy efficient. Someday, they’ll be generating their own electricity. In the meantime, here are a few tips on how to make your gym membership a little greener.

Go Carless to the Gym:

Whether you live or work close by, you’re much more likely to adhere to an exercise program if you’re within a 10 minute walk.

One mile in a car can equal up to 1 pound of carbon released into the atmosphere so every time you walk, bike or run, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.

Also, it’s a great warm up for a workout. You can stretch your arms, chest and back on the way, but the real benefit is increasing circulation to your extremities. Once you’re there, your muscles are warm and ready to get right into your workout.

Stay off the Treadmills:

Treadmills are the major gas guzzlers, but most other machines are self-powered or use no electricity at all. I really like the Cybex Arc Trainer.

Buy a Reusable Water Bottle:

Whether it’s plastic or metal, it’s a no-brainer. It might be placebo effect, but I find water from a stainless steel bottle to taste better as well. Whatever keeps me hydrated!